At 39, mar­ket­ing ex­ec­u­tive and mother-of-three Amelia Fitzger­ald felt that breast im­plants would make her happier – and they did. What she didn’t expect was the strong re­ac­tions of oth­ers. She talks to Britt Mann.

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - NEWS -

I’m not go­ing to lie; ob­vi­ously, it was a de­ci­sion based on van­ity. I breast­fed three chil­dren and that had taken all their vol­ume and shape. Also, if I ever lose weight, it in­stantly comes off my chest, so I get re­ally bony there. I just wanted back what I had.

You give so much of your­self to hav­ing chil­dren – your body, your time, your ca­reer... My weight had gone up and down be­tween 58kg and 87kg three times in 10 years, yo-yoing with preg­nancy. I knew I could get back to my nor­mal shape with diet and ex­er­cise but all the run­ning and strength train­ing in the world was not go­ing to change my boobs.

I’m a pretty prag­matic per­son. If there’s some­thing I’m un­happy with and I’ve got the power to change it, I will. So the prac­ti­cal so­lu­tion was to have them done. I got my im­plants in July last year, about six months be­fore my 40th birth­day. I also had a lift, be­cause I wanted my nip­ples fac­ing up­wards and not at the floor.

I only did it for my­self; I did it for no­body else. My now ex-hus­band was quite against it. He was always say­ing he loved me as I was and didn’t want me putting plas­tic in my body. But I did a lot of re­search in the lead-up and I just felt like the ben­e­fits out­weighed the risks.

I would look in the mir­ror in the morn­ing and go, “F... it!” – just be an­noyed. I’ve found as I’ve aged, I’ve gained a lot of body con­fi­dence, ac­tu­ally. You go through three preg­nan­cies and breast­feed­ing. I took up marathon run­ning so I’ve run three full marathons since I had my last child six years ago. I have this love and re­spect for my body in my 40s I never had in my 20s.

I spent a cou­ple of years re­search­ing and check­ing out sur­geons on­line. The money was a hur­dle as well. The lift and im­plants cost $17,000. You can go to Thai­land and get them done for $5000 if you want. But, that’s good for some­one else. Not for me.

I chose a guy who’s got an in­cred­i­ble rep­u­ta­tion, who’s booked out re­ally far ahead. I had my ini­tial ap­point­ment, where you go and try on the bra with dif­fer­ent im­plants inside the bra. I wanted the small­est im­plant you could get, but the sur­geon said most women come back to him say­ing: “I wish I’d got a cup size up.”

My sur­geon rec­om­mended I go with an im­plant be­hind the mus­cle. You go for a mam­mo­gram be­fore surgery and I just had another one again – you can still get a re­ally clear view of the breast tis­sue. That was a big concern of mine.

I have mi­crochipped boobs. If I was in an ac­ci­dent or any­thing over­seas, I’ve got a card in my wal­let, and they can scan my breasts in the hos­pi­tal and see ev­ery­thing about the im­plants, all my health sta­tis­tics, that’s all in an in­ter­na­tional data­base.

My surgery was about six weeks af­ter the ini­tial con­sul­ta­tion. I had morn­ing surgery, stayed overnight for ob­ser­va­tion, then went home the next day all ban­daged up. You have a drain in each breast drain­ing out blood and fluid. I’ve got two boys and they thought that was so cool – it was quite grue­some-look­ing.

I told my kids well ahead of time that this was what I was do­ing, and this is why I was do­ing it – to change the shape of my boobs. They didn’t care. They were just re­ally su­per help­ful – you can’t do much house­work and lift­ing for a few weeks. To them it was just a non-event re­ally.

You wake up from surgery with a sur­gi­cal bra on. I just looked down and went: “Yes!” I was so stoked. I had cleav­age again! I was a small B and now I’m a DD. It doesn’t look like that, though. They look in pro­por­tion with my body.

It never would have oc­curred to me to keep it a se­cret. It’s pretty frickin’ ob­vi­ous. But my sur­geon said: “Be care­ful who you tell about this, be­cause it pro­vokes re­ally strong re­ac­tions in people.”

I was re­ally shocked by that. Why should my cup size af­fect any­body else’s life?

My mother had been re­ally against it, and then she saw them and said: “Damn it, I wish I’d had that done when I was younger.” To my face, re­ac­tions were all pos­i­tive...

Putting on my bikini for the first time last summer, I just felt re­ally, re­ally fan­tas­tic. Some girl­friends and I went to Wai­heke Is­land, to the nud­ist beach there and went skinny dip­ping. Just to be walk­ing around with a top off and feel­ing great was re­ally lib­er­at­ing, and re­ally fun.

If I’m try­ing on clothes or if I roll on my tummy, they feel very, very firm. If I give any­body a tight hug, they know what’s go­ing on. I would say they’re even more sen­si­tive now. I’ve lost no sen­sa­tion at all.

Ev­ery­body wants to touch them, the bolder people want to see them. Af­ter a cou­ple of chardon­nays, that’s to­tally fine, I’ll show any­body.

The other day, I had a sin­glet top on with no bra. I walked across the room to talk to a woman who I know. The first thing she did was look at my chest – I caught her do­ing it! It’s amus­ing to me, it doesn’t bother me at all.

There’s a real even split of guys who hate it and guys who are like, “Oh my God, that’s amaz­ing”.

It’s a topic people have re­ally, re­ally strong opin­ions about; it ruf­fles feath­ers. There’s so many other things in the world to get your knick­ers in a twist about. Get up­set about child poverty or the state of our oceans.

My mother had been re­ally against it, and then she saw them and said: “Damn it, I wish I’d had that done when I was younger.”

Whether my nip­ples are point­ing up­wards should be no concern of yours.

Around the time I de­buted my “girls”, an ex-friend who writes for a news­pa­per – and is known for be­ing judge­men­tal and out­spo­ken about women’s bod­ies – wrote an en­tire col­umn about plas­tic surgery and how it sup­pos­edly sets fem­i­nism back decades. I was re­ally shocked when I read it. Surely one of the cor­ner­stones of fem­i­nism is that women have the right to make choices about their bod­ies and present themselves as they wish. What I’m most pas­sion­ate about is people not pass­ing judge­ment on any­one’s body. It’s just not up there for dis­cus­sion. It’s such an anti-fem­i­nist no­tion. The fact that I’ve had a boob job should not mean I can’t be taken se­ri­ously in the board­room.

I’m so glad I waited un­til af­ter I had my kids, be­cause my body changed so much. If my daugh­ter came to me and said she wanted surgery, I would do ev­ery­thing I could to con­vince her to wait. I think it can be a slip­pery slope for younger women who don’t have a lot of body con­fi­dence. For some people, one [surgery] can be enough, but for oth­ers, one thing’s never go­ing to be enough.

Things like makeup and hair dye are not per­ma­nent; plas­tic surgery is hard to re­verse. The longer you wait to make a choice like that, the bet­ter. *Amelia Fitzger­ald’s name has been changed.

“The fact that I’ve had a boob job should not mean I can’t be taken se­ri­ously in the board­room.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.